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8 Reasons Women Should CrossFit

Denae Brown at the 2012 Australian CrossFit Regionals

Denae Brown at the 2012 Australian CrossFit Regionals

If you’re a female and do CrossFit, then good on you! You know the benefits and understand what high-intensity functional fitness means not only to the shape of your body but also your overall health.

However, if you’ve been peeking around at this “CrossFit thing” to see what it’s all about, and maybe are a little intimidated to try, I invite you to give it a go and see what you think. Don’t be scared off by the naysayers who think CrossFit is only for insane people, is too intense for the average Jane, or will cause you great physical harm. When done correctly, CrossFit is safe and effective…and even fun! Here are 8 reasons why women should CrossFit:

1. Cardio Queen Killer: I can’t tell you the numerous hours I’ve spent on stationary bikes, treadmills, and elliptical machines. You know what? They get you nowhere fast–quite literally. Actually, the end destination most times for me was ‘Frustration-ville’. It’s a horrible place to be when you’re trying to make healthy changes. I’m not saying that cardio workouts and machines are completely useless for women. However, I never saw the same level of effectiveness on a machine as I do with the cross-training ways of CrossFit.

2. Lift–and Still Look–Like a Girl: If you steer clear of weight lifting for fear of looking like a man, it’s time to come to the lifting light. Strength training–CrossFit or not–is not the only way bulk comes to be. In fact, to look like Ms. Olympia (or even half her mass), has almost more to do with super strict diet and dedication than the iron she’s pumping (although, that certainly helps). Weight lifting is awesome for your body–even when you’re not doing it. Cardio burns calories for the time that you’re doing it; strength training, on the other hand, keeps the caloric blaze a burning even while you’re at rest. The end result is a toned body–and only a bulky one if you decide to build it so.

3. Everyone Is Welcome: Can’t do a pull up, let alone a muscle up? Guess what, I can’t either–but I’m working on it, and you will too. True story: At my very first class, which was a beginner class, we had to do jump rope spins as part of the warm up. I was a mess, so much so, that my coach had me jump in place, and hold the rope ends in one hand and spin it to my side. Yeah…COULD NOT JUMP A ROPE. I may have felt like an ass for that moment, but now I can do double unders and all because the exercises were broken down into levels I could handle. As I became better, I was advanced to take on more skill. That’s called “scaling”, and it’s how CrossFit can turn even seniors into competitive athletes.

4. Friend Finder: Outside of work and friends of friends, it’s hard to meet new people. But you’ll soon find that if you dedicate even a little time a CrossFit box (a.k.a., gym), you’ll have lots of newbie friends in your future. This doesn’t mean that WOD time is social hour–NO! However, having a friend by your side to cheer you on and inspire you to do your best, can be the beginning to a beautiful friendship.

2013 CrossFit Games (Image Courtesy of CrossFit's Facebook Page).

2013 CrossFit Games (Image Courtesy of CrossFit’s Facebook Page).

5. Partner Up: Right in line with #4, many marriages/relationships, have been started with 3, 2, 1…Go. If you can ‘Fran’ together (a pretty tough workout), your wedded future could be bright. I’m not saying you should join CrossFit to meet your mate, but if you did, you wouldn’t be alone.

6. Miss Independent: I don’t know about you, but being able to open a jar of pickles on my own or move a cabinet without my spouse coming to my aid feels pretty awesome. CrossFit can make you strong, and strength can lead to independence–and cool bar tricks!

7. Be Challenged: Are you bored at your job? Do you feel like you could do more with your life but aren’t? Get ready to be challenged in ways you never imagined. CrossFit isn’t just physical; it’s mental. You’ll need mind and body strength to make it through some WODs. Tears might even come before the finish does. But in the end, I promise that while you’re cursing the CrossFit powers that be, once you scrape yourself off the floor, you’ll feel really proud of what you just accomplished. And knowing what you got through in the gym means you could probably conquer anything outside of it as well.

8. Knee Socks: You know all those cute, brightly colored knee socks that are trendy right now, but without boots, you don’t feel like you can pull them off? Well, CrossFit gives you multiple non-fashion reasons to don the calf coverers: rope climbs, dead lifts, and double unders. Leg protection is a must for many CF activities, and knee socks are the perfect performance pair. Men and women wear them often, so you’ll fit right in with your loud leg freak show.

Women in CrossFit knee socks

Remember, I was once in your place. And while being crazy may fit the bill for me–after all, my “reward” for running a complete 5K was getting to take a CrossFit class–sane people are completely welcome.

Like I always say about opinions, you be the judge. Most first classes are free, so what do you have to lose?

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.